Napoleon & Europe

Ref: C2525527

Due to face to face teaching being suspended unfortunately this course is not currently available for enrolment.

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Napoleon will be considered as an individual : his charm, ruthlessness, over-riding ambition, military genius, political skills, administrative abilities, workaholism, adultery and self publicist. Particular attention will be given to the years 1799 - 1804 when he manipulkated events from First Consul to be appointed Emperor and how is those years he laid the basis for his armies and civil adminstration. Until 1808 he conquered Europe and aimed to establsh peace, a possibility had James Fox, English politician not died; Britain remained at war when the rest of Europe were willing to come to terms with his proposals. 1808 -1815 will cover the Spanish and Russian campaigns and the close fought Battle of Waterloo. The impact of his political -legal reforms and the foundations of European nationalism will be considered with reference to newly emergent states - Belgium, Greece and Italy and subsequently Germany

Course aim

The coursse covers Napoleon's rise to power and his domination of Europe militarilly, politically and legally in the years 1804 -1815.His legacy of introucing ideas of political reform and nationalism will be examined.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • This course is for students who attend a specific centre only. For more information please call 0300 303 3464
  • There will be advice voluntarily to look up websites for specific details on e.g. the various battles, the Codes Napoleon etc.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Have a knowledge of the events of Napoleon's life;
  • Have an outline knolw3edge of his military skills and tactics and why he was successful for so long;
  • An awareness of historical processes and alternative views;
  • An understanding of how Napoleons' reforms still have some relevance today e.g Law and European bureacracy
  • The opportunity i share ideas with others in the group and to have the confidence to make individual contri utions

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning
  • All work outside the course will be voluntary.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions
  • The tutor will be available 30 minutes before the formal session starts to discuss indivdual mattrer and for some time after the session ends.

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • A selection of materials and basic equipment will be provided but you are welcome to bring additional materials with you
  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful
  • A useful basic text is Napoleon - a Very short introduction - David Bell Oxofrd £5.34 Amazon Darlington library has a number of books in European History that have some relevance to the period.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • In the past some students have been advised to consider applying to the Open University.

Download full course information sheet

Napoleon & Europe

Is this course right for me? Request more information

Due to face to face teaching being suspended unfortunately this course is not currently available for enrolment.

We are launching a range of online courses shortly that may be of interest to you so sign up here to hear more.


This course is funded by the Tees Valley Combined Authority but is also open to residents of other areas.

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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